Tag Archives: texas theatre

Opening: ‘Drew: The Man Behind the Poster’

Opening in Dallas tomorrow, exclusively at the Texas Theatre, Erik P. Sharkey’s documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster considers the life and work of legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan, who is responsible for iconic images for Star WarsRaiders of the Lost ArkBlade RunnerBack to the Future and many more.

Telling the tale through exclusive interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Thomas Jane, Sam Witwer, Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and many other artists, critics and filmmakers, this film spans the journey of Drew’s early life and career in album cover art through his success as one of the most recognizable and influential movie poster artists of all time, to his most recent ‘post retirement’ life and works of fine art.

Beyond that official synopsis, take a look at a few sample images drawn from the official Drew Struzan Gallery, where you can easily spend of hours, as I did last week when I should have been writing, perusing wonderfully-detailed movie posters that, magically, make you want to see the movie RIGHT THIS MINUTE, even though some of the movies are demonstrably really, really bad. The gallery also has samples of Struzan’s studio work, where his imagination runs wild, and you can buy original art, if your budget allows.

Rather than the more famous posters, I wanted to draw attention to some of his lesser-known work. Click any image above to see it in close-up. Enjoy!

(Article originally published in slightly different form, with different posters, at Twitch.)

Mid-Week Break: Turkish Madness, ‘Towering Inferno’

'3 Dev Adam' at Texas Theatre
‘3 Dev Adam’ at Texas Theatre

Different degrees of trashiness are on display in Dallas tonight.

At 7:30, you can head over to Landmark Magnolia and catch a disaster movie nominated for a Best Picture Oscar — from schlock producer Irwin Allen, no less!. The Towering Inferno, cobbled together from two novels, conjectures a fire in a deluxe skyscraper in San Francisco, playing on legitimate concerns that are still rarely addressed. In the post-9/11 era, this movie plays somewhat differently than it did back in 1974. Paul Newman (as the architect) and Steve McQueen (as the firefighter) lead the all-star cast, which includes William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner, Fred Astaire … and O.J. Simpson!

Later in the evening, head over to the Texas Theatre for the Tuesday Night Trash presentation, this week featuring Turkish madness in the form of TNT034: 3 Dev Adam, one of the legendary schlock-fests that should play well in the upstairs lounge, and that Batman flick plays in 35mm downstairs.

Retro Scene: ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ ‘Hanzo the Razor,’ ‘The Goonies’

Harrison Ford in Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (Paramount)
Harrison Ford in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (Paramount)

“Snakes! Why’d it have to be snakes?”

Of the many quotable moments in Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg based on a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman, that one stands out for me, but there’s a baker’s dozen more that could have been featured, delivered by an outstanding cast led by Harrison Ford and the ever-lovely Karen Allen, a classic dame if every there was one. The film screens in 35mm at the Texas Theatre tonight, tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday.

In the Texas Theatre’s upstairs lounge tonight, Hanzo the Razor 2: The Snare unleashes a toxic brew of bloody and sex from 1973, while the Spanish flick Jamon Jamon, directed by Bigas Luna and featuring a very young Penelope Cruz in a supporting role, screens on Saturday.

All 80s kids probably have fond memories of Richard Donner’s The Goonies. I don’t happen to be one of them, but if that’s your thing, go and enjoy one of the midnight shows this weekend at the Landmark Inwood.

Indie Weekend: ‘Beyond the Black Rainbow,’ ‘Hysteria,’ and More

'Beyond the Black Rainbow' at the Texas Theatre
‘Beyond the Black Rainbow’ at the Texas Theatre

Ah, what to see, what to see, the eternal weekend question for moviegoers! Here are my picks, along with my new letter grading for the films I’ve seen:

Newly available in limited release (listed alphabetically):

  • Beyond the Black Rainbow. A head trip, and a science-fictional period tale, as a woman in the 1980s is treated at a very special institute. Wonderfully phantasmagorical. My roundup of reviews at Twitch. [B+]
  • HIGH School. Stoner comedy, featuring Adrien Brody and Michael Chiklis. Advance reviews have not been kind. Not previewed.
  • Hysteria. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in a romantic comedy about the invention of the electric vibrator in 19th Century England. Reviews have been generally favorable. Not previewed.
  • The Intouchables. A cross-generational friendship blossoms between a street-wise caretaker and a wealthy disabled aristrocrat. Buoyantly funny. My review. [B-]
  • Moonrise Kingdom. A boy and a girl, aged 12, fall in love and run away together on a small island off the coast of New England in 1965; directed by Wes Anderon. My review. [A]

Continuing in limited engagements:

  • Angelika Dallas: Headhunters. My comments. [B].  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
  • Angelika Dallas: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
  • Landmark Magnolia: Bernie; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; First Position.
  • Texas Theatre: God Bless America. My review at Twitch. [A-]


Opening in wide release:

  • Snow White and the Huntsman. Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron star in a new, dark version of the venerable fairy tale. Very stylish, very routine. My review at Twitch.  [C]
  • For Greater Glory. Andy Garcia Eva Longoria, Oscar Isaac, and Peter O’Toole star in a historical drama based on the real-life events of the 1920s Cristero War. Not previewed.

Other recent wide releases:

Retro Scene: ‘Rocky’ in 35mm

Sylvester Stallone and Burgess Meredith in 'Rocky'
Sylvester Stallone and Burgess Meredith in 'Rocky'

Contrary to popular myth, Sylvester Stallone was not a complete unknown when he played the title role in Rocky. He’d already made good impressions in Death Race 2000 and The Lords of Flatbush. But he had enough experience under his belt to know that he if wanted to break out big, he’d need to create a role that would showcase what made him unique. So he wrote a script, which people loved, and then insisted that he star in it as part of the package.

With veteran director John G. Avildsen at the helm, the result remains a completely winning film, warm and appealing, not only for its virtues in celebrating the underdog, but for its understanding that all people want to do better, even if it’s in some small way that no one else can see. In Rocky Balboa’s case, he had the unexpectedly opportunity to showcase himself to the world, and gave it his best shot. In Sylvester Stallone’s case, not only is his script a marvel of construction and character, he delivered a very strong, very relatable performance.

Put the iconic moments that have become cliches back into the context of the movie, in which a working class man recognizes that he has limitations and chooses to ignore them, and you end up with Rocky, which, doggone it, can still make you stand up and cheer, more than 35 years after it was released.

Rocky began a limited engagement at the Texas Theatre last night in 35mm and continues through Sunday.

Last Call: ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at Texas Theatre

Emily Browning in 'Sleeping Beauty'
Emily Browning in 'Sleeping Beauty'

It’s all about prostitution in Oak Cliff. In the movies, I mean.

Tonight and tomorrow are the final opportunities to see Cannes sensation ‘Sleeping Beauty’ theatrically in the Metroplex. Emily Browning stars as a new employee in an elegant house of prostitution, where the ladies go to sleep while the gentlemen do with them what they will. Reviews have been mixed, but it should be a good conversation-starter for couples, I imagine.

If you go tomorrow night, you could make it a double-bill (separate admission charged), with the last show of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at 7:00 p.m., followed by the local premiere of ‘House of Pleasures’ at 9:20 p.m. The latter is a less-touted French film, also set in a brothel, but one where the ladies are fully awake while strangers do the deed. And while ‘Sleeping Beauty’ has a modern-day setting, ‘House of Pleasures’ takes place in the early 20th century. So, theoretically, you could compare and contrast, er, the time periods.

You’ll figure it out.

All screenings at the Texas Theatre. Check website for details